October 21, 2019

"By this point in the 2016 Democratic primary, in contrast, a huge bloc Democratic governors, senators and representatives had chosen a candidate, Hillary Clinton."

"But this cycle, the overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats and Democratic governors are still on the sidelines. Indeed, the 2020 Democratic primary looks more like the 2016 Republican primary, when most GOP officials held their fire until deep into the race, than that year’s Democratic race.... Warren has two obvious problems with party elites. First, there is the perception among some of them that her left-wing stands, such as Medicare for All, are too risky for the general election and decrease the party’s chances of defeating President Trump.... Secondly, electoral considerations aside, there is a center-left wing of the Democratic Party that fundamentally disagrees with Warren’s more leftward positions... Warren also has a third challenge with party elites that is less obvious. The Massachusetts senator clashed with senior aides to President Obama for much of his tenure in the White House. She, like Sanders, isn’t quite in line with the party’s establishment. A Warren administration would probably be less likely to hire former Clinton (Bill and Hillary) and Obama aides in key posts than, say, a Biden, Booker or Harris one. So people connected with the party establishment (like many DNC members) may be fine with Warren but prefer other candidates for more self-interested reasons.... The potential danger for the Massachusetts senator is that 'party elites lukewarm about Warren' turns into 'party elites organize to stop Warren.' And perhaps Democratic voters care more about the views of their party’s elites than Republican voters did in 2016."

From "Why Aren’t More Democrats Endorsing Warren?" (FiveThirtyEight).

I wish there were some discussion of the way Democratic Party elites behaved in 2008, endorsing Hillary Clinton early and interfering with the rise of Barack Obama. Aren't they avoiding giving Biden what they gave Hillary in '08?

Anyway, things were different then. There were "superdelegates," and the elite had reason to think they could control things. Here's a WaPo article from September 2018, "The DNC voted to strip superdelegates of their powers. Will it matter for 2020?":
Since the mid-19th century, both parties have selected their presidential candidates at national conventions. At these conventions, delegates from each state vote to select the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates. Originally, these state delegates were appointed by local party leaders. But starting in 1912, a number of states began to organize primaries or caucuses that allowed voters to select which candidate their delegates would support.

The number of primary states dramatically expanded after contentious conventions in 1968. Since the 1970s, all states have relied on primaries or caucuses to divide up their delegates. But Democratic Party leaders very quickly grew concerned about which candidates their primary voters were selecting. In 1972, George McGovern won the Democratic nomination — and in the general election, lost in a landslide to Richard Nixon. In 1976, Jimmy Carter — a political outsider — won the Democratic nomination and the general election, but alienated many congressional Democrats and much of the public while in the White House. In 1980, he lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan.

After Carter’s 1980 loss, frustrated Democratic leaders wanted to regain influence in picking the nominee. A DNC committee proposed adding “superdelegates,” spots given to party leaders who were free to vote for whatever candidate they thought would be most competitive. Since 1984, between 14 and 20 percent of the total delegates at Democratic conventions have been superdelegates. In 2016, these superdelegates were predominantly DNC members and elected officials.

The superdelegate system became particularly controversial during the 2016 presidential primary fight between Clinton and Sanders (I-Vt.). During those primaries, Sanders supporters attacked the DNC — ostensibly a neutral arbiter for all factions of the party — for purportedly supporting Clinton. Sanders supporters also criticized the primaries’ structure — including the superdelegates — as unfair to Sanders.

In response, the DNC has adjusted how it selects its presidential nominee. Earlier this summer, a DNC subcommittee voted to make it impossible for superdelegates to have the deciding vote on the first ballot at a national convention. In practical terms this means that superdelegates cannot vote in the first voting round if their support is going to decide the selection. If no candidate wins a majority in the first round, superdelegates get to vote in subsequent rounds. Thanks to DNC Chair Tom Perez — who lobbied heavily for the change — the DNC has now voted to implement the proposal....

Between 1984 and 2016, in every case the candidate who won the most pledged delegates through primaries and caucuses was also supported by a majority of superdelegates. For example, in 2008 and 2016 the delegate race was incredibly close... But while superdelegates’ votes haven’t directly changed who won the nomination, they may matter in indirect ways. Superdelegates often announce who they’re supporting well before the convention. Candidates have in the past spent a lot of time and resources on trying to win their support.

So the new system may change the 2020 primaries after all. Candidates will now be relieved of having to woo superdelegates. They are still likely to care about getting party leaders’ endorsements. But they do not have to ensure that they get and keep superdelegates’ votes.lll

All that means we’re not looking at a radical change in the race for the next Democratic presidential nomination. But Democrats can be assured that the process will be slightly more democratic, in the sense that ordinary voters — and not party elites — will have the final say. What’s more, party leaders may have a little less influence, with less ability to anoint a candidate before the first primary. Meanwhile, the DNC hopes that this relatively minor change will help restore the confidence of voters who thought the 2016 primaries were unfair.
It seems as though that FiveThirtyEight article ought to have factored in the change in the superdelegates, but I see that the entire website hasn't mentioned superdelegates once in the last month. It seems to me that if the elite — the superdelegates — still thought they could control things, they'd have backed Biden already. They gave up control and now they don't know how to handle it. Just a hypothesis.

57 comments:

wendybar said...

Warren is going to bankrupt America. They really are going for the Cloward and Piven strategy on the left. It isn't going to be pretty.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm amazed that Warren's hijacking of the quota system with her fake Injun act seems unimportant to you.

Maybe I shouldn't be.

Feminism has always been about rich white women co-opting the quota system to their advantage.

Michael K said...

The Democrat "Elites" have been running the Trump "Resistance."

Too busy to decide on that dumpster fire of a candidate field.

gilbar said...

A Warren administration would probably be less likely to hire former Clinton (Bill and Hillary) and Obama aides in key posts than, say, a Biden, Booker or Harris one.

And THAT'S what Really Matters, isn't it? That your Special People get hired in Key posts
Why Do We Want To Win? To get cushy jobs!!!!
When Do We Want Them ASAP!

Mattman26 said...

Every “reform” (esp. from the left) carries the seed of unintended consequences.

The new rule would seem to encourage hanging in there for candidates who, under the old system, would have seen the writing on the wall and dropped out. This decreases the chance of a single candidate getting (or garnering, if you prefer) a majority on the first round.

Then out comes the sun, and dries up all the rain. And the superduperdelegates crawl up the spout again.

Darrell said...

I choose Hillary Clinton for jail, then Jill Stein talked me out of it. Now I have to wonder.

Hagar said...

Is it off topic to note that there now is trial balloons for Mayor Bloomberg to run?

Don't the Democrats have any plausible candidates below the age of 70 to run?

Scott said...

The chart of endorsements in the article shows the tribalism which historically has been more pronounced in the Democrat party. The 2020 graph could indeed indicate that no front-runner such as Clinton has emerged by this point. Or, it could show that as the party moves left and becomes more ideological, it becomes less tribal.

MayBee said...

I wish there were some discussion of the way Democratic Party elites behaved in 2008, endorsing Hillary Clinton early and interfering with the rise of Barack Obama.

I have a completely different memory. I remember Ted Kennedy coming out for Obama. I remember them de-certifying certain states' primaries, and then actually re-distributing votes TO Obama FROM Hillary.

rehajm said...

I read the new superdelegate rules and hypothesize they still get to decide so long as there's a split vote on the first ballot. What are the chances that happens this time around? Far more likely than not, I'd say...

The potential danger for the Massachusetts senator is that 'party elites lukewarm about Warren' turns into 'party elites organize to stop Warren.

Data points on two of those ultra wealthy, ultra political Democrat 'elites': One former Obama executive officeholder declared early for Warren. One former 'Harvard' oriented liberal finance family is waiting. They previously supported Hillary Clinton.

rehajm said...

The fact this article showed up at all is suspicious. Hillary running her mouth the other day makes methinks she's still controlling the process. Tulsi was messing with the split she needs come Summer...

peacelovewoodstock said...

Fully expect Michael Bloomberg to swoop in and save the Democrat party from a disastrous Warren nomination.

Of course, Biden will not be the nominee, and it is fantasy to imagine that Hillary, or Michelle O. could get any traction.

h said...

I think super delegates are restricted from voting on the first ballot at the convention, but if that fails to award a nomination to a candidate with a majority of votes, then things get interesting. If there are three or more candidates that poll pretty consistently above 15% a deadlocked first ballot becomes much more likely. I agree that this kind of speculation seems ready made for the crew at 538. But this kind of speculation also really has no place to start. (Except that there are three US citizens over the age of 35 who could not be the nominee -- WJClinton, BHObama, and GWBush.)

henry said...

The have to negotiate a Bidexit before they can switch to Warren (or place your candidate here).

Phil 314 said...

Who was the last “Establishment: Democrat to win the general election? Not Obama, not Clinton (Bill), not Carter, ? Kennedy.

I’m thinking not in my lifetime.

Phil 314 said...

Whereas on the Republican side GW Bush was fairly establishment. Certainly his father was. ? Nixon.

Gk1 said...

I'm surprised no one has drawn the parallel to the 2003 democratic primary where the field was still in disarray in the spring of 2004 when they settled on Kerry. They had all reassured themselves their united hatred of GW Bush was more than enough to get them over the finish line. Some things never change.

cacimbo said...

I think, they don't believe the gaffe-tastic Biden can win. The corporate wing of the Democrat party was originally for Harris, media was pushing her hard. But Harris was unable to grab public attention despite all the media help. Now there really just isn't a candidate they can agree to rally around.

TJM said...

The modern Democratic Party is a crime organization masquerading as a political party, aided and abetted by its chief pimp, the national media. What is "democratic" about superdelegates? I thought the Dems believe every vote should count but it appears some votes count more than others?

SGT Ted said...

Also avoided is the DNC rigging the Primary in 2016 for Hillary. The recent Tulsi Gabbard vs Hillary! flap only serves to remind Democrat Party members of that.

bwebster said...

The Game of Thrones continues.

Bob Boyd said...

Aren't they avoiding giving Biden what they gave Hillary in '08?

I think they've tried in the early going, but they're more leery, after having pissed off their voters by getting caught twice with their thumb on the scales for Hillary.
Plus, I think they had a lot more confidence (however misplaced) in Hillary's elect-ability than they currently have in Biden's chances against Trump.
There was no Republican candidate as formidible seeming as President Trump anywhere on the scene in '08 or '16, including candidate Trump. I think they have been hoping somehow a dark horse like a Bill Clinton or a Barrack Obama would emerge to save the day. It hasn't happened.
The media took over in '08 and replaced Hillary with Obama. They're still driving the Dem Party bus. They want someone they can fall in love with and that ain't Uncle Greasy Palms.

AllenS said...

From the article --

In response, the DNC has adjusted how it selects its presidential nominee. Earlier this summer, a DNC subcommittee voted to make it impossible for superdelegates to have the deciding vote on the first ballot at a national convention. ... If no candidate wins a majority in the first round, superdelegates get to vote in subsequent rounds

This is important. The Dems still have superdelegates, they just can't vote in the first round, but, look out, everything after that they can. I predict that they will have a very deciding input on who the winner will be. As usual.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I recall ALL of the candidates are calling for medicare for all.

This is the media pimping Biden. Biden isn't as bold in his fishy washy leftwing BS.
He's a Clinton clone.

Michael K said...

The modern Democratic Party is a crime organization masquerading as a political party, aided and abetted by its chief pimp, the national media.

I skim the local newspaper's letter to the editor several times a week. It's the Tucson paper and thus very far left but it interesting that the local Democrats, and presumably national Democrats, are still convinced that the Russia story is real. Today's examople, from Oro Valley, the upscale part of town:

Obvious that Trump

is Putin’s stooge

What a circus show we are witnessing, with Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Barr and Co. It’s not a sideshow but the main act going on nonstop under the big top of GOP corruption. The lying, denying, spinning, and smearing escalating as the corrupter in chief explodes in rage after releasing his self-damning “perfect” extortion phone call to Ukraine’s president.

Flying-monkey Giuliani is sparring with the corrupt attorney general, while the high priest of corruption brings Pence into the fray. No one could make this stuff up, and its tremendously scary to think this is the low to which our country has devolved. The article “For help with Ukraine, Giuliani turned to unlikely pair of fixers from Florida” shows just how the Republicans operate.

It is so obvious Trump is Vladimir Putin’s stooge. Republican sycophants in Congress continue to rally around the wagons of corruption, folding to their fear of losing elections if they dare speak out against Trump’s treasonous behavior. Cowards all!

Deb Klumpp

Oro Valley


Impervious to logic or rationality. Such are today's Democrats.

wendybar said...

Gk1 said...
I'm surprised no one has drawn the parallel to the 2003 democratic primary where the field was still in disarray in the spring of 2004 when they settled on Kerry. They had all reassured themselves their united hatred of GW Bush was more than enough to get them over the finish line. Some things never change.
10/21/19, 7:49 AM


That is exactly when I started voting Republican. I had always voted Democrat before that, but could NOT pull the lever for him.

Sally327 said...

Maybe it's as simple as no one has really asked for these endorsements, partly as the result of inexperience or maybe it's because a candidate wants to time certain endorsements for maximum effect (like before the state's primary, etc. or before a big rally in a particular state). Maybe it's just there's too many candidates and who wants to back some also ran when maybe somebody is going to surge ahead (see later post about Mayor Pete).

Hillary's strategy was one of projecting inevitability, that it was all wrapped up, so having lots of endorsements early from other politicians was just adding to the cumulative mass of managed expectations, Hillary would be the candidate, Hillary would win the general election.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

The Donks need a left-populist and they don’t have a single credible one. I see an opening for garage mahal....

daskol said...

If we're comparing to 2015-2016 GOP, Warren is playing the Ted Cruz part: strident, ideological, scary to much of the party but the "organic" or obvious internal option. If Mayor Pete were a bit more seasoned, it would be easy to see the center of the party coalescing around him. He has a lovely voice and presents well. Somebody from the outside, a Bloomberg or Schultz or Oprah, needs to rescue the Party from itself, but it seems like it's too late for this cycle (and those folks are too old for the next go-round).

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Superdelegates will still make the call. The “first ballot” rule is meaningless in a primary with so many players. Does anyone really believe that one of the clowns will draw an outright majority of delegates on first vote? Really? Then it will be Democrat business as usual with superdelegates wielding their deciding vote to promote their favored idiot to the nomination.

Tommy Duncan said...

"And perhaps Democratic voters care more about the views of their party’s elites than Republican voters did in 2016."

Duh. The Democrats own the administrative machine that enables the swamp. They own the schools and universities. Of course the Democrats care about the elites more than the Republicans care about the elites.

Ken B said...

Parties should have superdelegates, they should often ignore caucuses and primaries. They should be willing to tell the voters so.

Amadeus 48 said...

I try to ignore the struggles of the Democrats until after they have selected their nominee. There is too much drama to no good end.

I focus on the GOP, generally grinding my teeth at the venality and cowardice on display. There have been two great outcomes in my adult life: Ronald Reagan and now Donald Trump. Both had their moments of inanity and briefly, insanity, but both fought against the tide in DC and achieved prosperity up and down the income and social scales. Unemployment is at historic lows and employment is at historic highs. The average American is finally gaining ground as demonstrated by a significant rise in median household incomes. The world is a dangerous place, but I embrace the trend towards the return of the Powell Doctrine. Peace and prosperity is a great legacy: peace through strength and prosperity through letting people make their own economic decisions. There will always be an economic cycle, but the key is a quick recovery from slowdowns.

Because I hold these views, all the Democrats are abhorrent. They all want to slice up the economic pie among client groups.

We are still in suspect terrain with Trump, but so far, so good.

Ken B said...

Darrell
Maybe Jill Stein didn’t want Hillary in jail because they are both Russian assets!

Danno said...

Ann said..." It seems to me that if the elite — the superdelegates — still thought they could control things, they'd have backed Biden already. They gave up control and now they don't know how to handle it."

With the unrelenting surge in ultra-left participants, the Dems are entering a world of hurt. The moderate Dems will either have no political voice, have to create a third political party, or vote for Trump.

Wilbur said...

AllenS said...

The Dems still have superdelegates, they just can't vote in the first round, but, look out, everything after that they can. I predict that they will have a very deciding input on who the winner will be. As usual.


And if they elevate a second or third place candidate to the nomination, probably Biden, well let's just say that's gonna throw a broom in the hen house. The Sanders-Warren cadre will go nuts. I certainly hope to see it.

traditionalguy said...

I dunno. Maybe it's because Warren is a woman, but then, so is Buttigieg.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

in 2016 - Bernie won Colorado.

Jard Polis(D) rich white totalitarian - was a superdelegate at the time - and he voted for Hillary.

Jard Polis is a male Hillary.

rightguy said...

The super-delegates/dem-establishment will choose the next presidential candidate; none of the non-entities currently running look like they can get a majority on the first ballot.

rcocean said...

@ Darrell is a Russian Asset. Putin smiles at his name. The lack of establishment support for Biden is curious, isn't it? Do they know something? Maybe that another candidate will appear in the race later on, like Michelle or..dare we say it....Hillary?

frenchy said...

Just because the Democrats and their media have conspired to not mention it doesn't mean that Warren, with her long history of faking being an indian for career advancement, won't be anything but a pinata for Trump. Do you really think the minorities she needs to win will turn out to vote for her? She's a horrible candidate.

Todd said...

After Carter’s 1980 loss, frustrated Democratic leaders wanted to regain influence in picking the nominee. A DNC committee proposed adding “superdelegates,” spots given to party leaders who were free to vote for whatever candidate they thought would be most competitive. Since 1984, between 14 and 20 percent of the total delegates at Democratic conventions have been superdelegates. In 2016, these superdelegates were predominantly DNC members and elected officials.

And this is one reason it keeps getting worse for dems. The party bosses keep trying to control the process and pick who they think can win. This results in the DNC tamping down the "crazy" of their own party. The citizens in the party are not really paying a price for supporting this because they are somewhat shielded from their actions. If they were allowed to completely let their "freak flag fly" for two or three election cycles, the super-crazy would burn them selves out and allow a return to a more normal democrat party (can't believe I said that out loud). At least a more centralist and less wacka-do makeup. But to make that happen, they would need two or three cycles of massive landslide losses. The DNC is working to prevent that so crazy hangs around and spreads...

rcocean said...

Bernie is dead man walking and needs to get out, along with all the others except Biden, Warren, Buttigig, and Harris. Clear the field of the deadwood.

narayanan said...

TJM said... What is "democratic" about superdelegates?

________________________
has anybody pointed out similarity between superdelegates and electoral college

Bruce Hayden said...

“Hillary's strategy was one of projecting inevitability, that it was all wrapped up, so having lots of endorsements early from other politicians was just adding to the cumulative mass of managed expectations, Hillary would be the candidate, Hillary would win the general election.“

Crooked Hillary ran the inside game from the start. Part of it was portraying inevitably, but by then, she was inevitable. It was a game, because all the Dems knew that all the power was going to flow from her, after the election, and that she was vindictive enough to remember who wasn’t behind her, who worked against her. So almost no one did. None of the Dems this time around have her reputation for vindictiveness, nor her inevitability. Her reputation for vindictiveness is what made her threats convincing. The Dem power brokers were, essentially, told that they were either behind her early, or could expect to be off the gravy train for the next eight years. Since she was inevitable, the choice was easy. Self fulfilling prophecy.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Jard Polis is a male Hillary.”

I don’t think so. When he was y Congressman, he was quite a bit to her left.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Michael K said...

Impervious to logic or rationality. Such are today's Democrats.

Unbridled narcissism does that to people.

Sam L. said...

Hillary? Chosen? Seems more like she bought her "superdelegates" and bought off any opposition.

Hagar said...

Three factions?

The media.
The party establishment.
The Democrats around the country.

Yancey Ward said...

It is good to get rid of the superdelegates. I think if you are going to hold primaries/caucuses in the first place, then the voters in those should have complete control. I still don't think this makes it likely, or even likelier, for it to end up in a brokered convention- the rules are that you have to have 15% to even get a delegate in a state contest. This will just about guarantee a two way race after South Carolina, and certainly after the first multi-primary day.

Yancey Ward said...

I forget who on this blog keeps mentioning it, but they have pointed out several times over the last few months that winning Democrat candidates for President aren't over 60 years of age. So look at the field today, and try to choose who can win versus who is going to get the nomination.

Darrell said...

rcocean said...
@ Darrell is a Russian Asset.


Hillary? Is that you?

Lazarus said...

HRC had massive name recognition in 2016. She also benefited from all of her husband's connections. She was going to be president. Everybody got out of her way.

How did that work out? Why would Democrats make the same mistake again? And why for somebody who doesn't have the name recognition and the political connections the Clinton's had?

Even if Liz can be as annoying as Hillary can be, that's no reason to jump the gun and endorse her.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Shouting Thomas said...
I'm amazed that Warren's hijacking of the quota system with her fake Injun act seems unimportant to you.


If you were given special treatment at a job or in being hired to do it for being white. Or male. Or whatever. Would you reject it?

Something tells me you wouldn't.

rightguy said...

Get a clue, Ritmo (P3T) ; its 2019. Women, including minority female persons, are succeeding across the board, both academically and economically. Spare us the rote democrat grievance mongering. Elizabeth Warren would never have gotten a full professorship at Harvard Law if she had not lied shamelessly about her heritage-she is obviously not an elite legal scholar.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

The only one I saw grievance-mongering was the poster at 6:05 that I responded to. What kind of clue is needed for someone to be able to follow a simple conversation?

Also, let's hear what your "heritage" is and how angry you would be to know how it would be used to benefit your own employment, or anything else that derived from it - and how you would seek to prevent that from being done.

Go on. Tell us.

In any event, I'd love to learn what "elite" scholarly opinion informed the GOP's need to protect anything having to do with the financial services sector, other than the consumers and everyone else hurt by their casino capitalism. Oh, right. The elite, legal, scholarly need to lie to the voter and court big money donations when their own integrity and regard for the truth is too weak to run on.

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Elizabeth Warren's scholarly career did not take place in 2019. Interesting how people calling themselves "conservatives" seem very confused between the timelines would pertain to their argument and those that are relevant to whatever facts and discussions they need to stomp their feet about.

Get a clue, indeed.